Contract Rummy Doesn't Have To Be Hard. Read These Facts

Updated: Feb 16

Contract rummy is based on gin rummy and played by 3 to 8 players. It is also referred to as Deuces Wild Joker, Combination Rummy, Joker Rummy, and Phase 10.

The Gameplay of Contract Rummy

Contract rummy can be played with several standard decks of 54 playing cards along with the Joker. Aces are regarded as low and high (above a King), and Jokers are considered wild cards. The number of decks differs from 2 to 4 and depends on the number of players. Every game is played on 7 rounds of hands, and the rules for every hand is different. One player starts as the dealer for the first hand, followed by the player on the dealer's left in the next hand, and so on. Every player is dealt 10 cards at the first four rounds, after that 12 cards for the final three games. The left cards are kept in the middle of the table face-down. It is called stock. When A single card is picked from the top of this stack and kept face-up beside it, The card is referred to as an upcard and signifies the discard pile's start. It is also known as 'dead' or no more in the game.

The first person to play the game is the player on the dealer's left side. The plays always progress in a clockwise direction. Every player has an option at the start of their turn. They can choose either of the following options: take one new card from the top of the stack or pick the upcard. When a player draws a card from the stack or upcard, the player must select any card from their hand for discarding. And by putting the card on top of the discard stack in a face-up position. After that, it is considered as the new upcard that the following player, in turn, can pick. If the next player decides not to pick the card, anyone can claim it. It is done by calling out for the card. The first person to call for the card gets to pick along with a penalty card from the deck. Before Rummy tournaments online, one should learn these rules, practice them and then enter a tournament.


The target of every hand is to bring the exact combination of cards for melding or laying out. The combination is also unique for every hand, and it may turn tougher with every subsequent hand. The combinations for every hand are either runs or set and can be a combination of both. Set is defined as a combination of a particular number of cards of similar rank. And Run is described as a combination of a particular number of cards of similar suit which have consecutive ranks. A player should have both sets of 3 cards and run of 4 cards before attempting to meld in specific rounds.

Also, a player can meld, particularly when his or her turn comes. Like always, the person is required to draw a card, after that if the player has tight order of cards, he may meld or 'go down'. One can do so by laying the meld cards face-up on the table in the right order. Also, it is possible to layout only the meld cards and no extra cards. Following the melding, the play may play on the melds of the rest players. Once done, the players are required to discard. In case, the player has no more cards in hand after discarding, the person is declared as the winner of the game.

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